Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “incubate”

See all translations

incubate

verb [I or T] uk   /ˈɪŋ.kjʊ.beɪt/ us  

incubate verb [I or T] (EGG)

When a bird, etc. incubates its eggs, it keeps them warm until the young come out, and when eggs incubate, they develop to the stage at which the young come out: The female bird incubates the eggs for about 16 days.

incubate verb [I or T] (DISEASE)

When harmful bacteria or viruses incubate, or when a person or animal incubates them, they increase in size or number in the person's or animal's body but do not yet produce the effects of disease.
incubation
noun [U] uk   /ˌɪŋ.kjʊˈbeɪ.ʃən/ us  
The incubation period varies depending on the time of year when the eggs were laid. In smallpox, there is an incubation period of 8–18 days between initial infection and first symptoms.
Translations of “incubate”
in Spanish incubar…
in French couver, incuber…
in German ausbrüten, die Inkubationszeit…
in Chinese (Traditional) 蛋, 孵(卵),孵化…
in Chinese (Simplified) 蛋, 孵(卵),孵化…
(Definition of incubate from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of incubate?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “incubate” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

sail

When a boat or a ship sails, it travels on the water.

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

dumbwalking noun

April 20, 2015
walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

Read More